The state of California is renowned for its colorful beaches, glitzy Hollywood, and rich cultural legacy. But it also has a darker side, with haunting homes, scary graves, and menacing forests. If you’re looking for an exciting encounter, these are some of the most terrifying locations in California that will chill you to the bone.
Winchester Mystery House
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Built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the well-known gun manufacturer, the expansive estate known as the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose has an unusual past. Sarah thought that the only way to placate the spirits of the people her husband’s firearms killed was to keep building her house. She hired carpenters without a blueprint and built a maze-like building with more than 160 rooms that included secret tunnels, traps, and rooms that led nowhere. There are persistent rumors that Sarah is still haunted by the demons she tried to leave behind.
The Queen Mary
Launched as an ocean liner in 1936, the Queen Mary is now a hotel and museum located in Long Beach. Having served as a World War II troop transport ship, an opulent cruise liner, and a retirement community, the ship has seen many tragedies and deaths, leaving spectral remains in its wake. Some haunted sites are the engine room, the first-class swimming pool, and the notorious B340 cabin, where both workers and guests have reported paranormal occurrences such as voices, cold spots, and apparitions.
Black Star Canyon
Tucked away in the Santa Ana Mountains, the remote Black Star Canyon boasts a colorful past that includes an aircraft crash, a stagecoach robbery, a gold rush, and the 1831 Spanish forced relocation of the Tongva tribe. The canyon is a popular place to hike and bike, and it’s also a hotspot for paranormal activity. Screams, gunfire, drumming, orbs, shadows, and figures have all been recorded by visitors, along with feelings of being touched, followed, and observed. Some people think that the canyon is haunted by the spirits of bandits, Tongva, and victims of disasters.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which bears President Theodore Roosevelt’s name, has been a significant landmark in Los Angeles since 1927. Celebrities who have stayed there include Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift. It is said that some of these guests are haunted. Some of the most haunted rooms are Suite 1200 (where Marilyn Monroe lived), Suite 928 (where Montgomery Clift stayed and is rumored to play his trumpet), and Cabana 246 (where a woman committed herself and is supposed to be seen as a ghost).
These are just a few of the shiver-inducing places in California that are sure to frighten you at night. Bodie Ghost Town, Alcatraz Island, and the Whaley House are a few more noteworthy locations. It’s possible for people with enough courage to visit these places to have direct experiences with the paranormal, but care is urged because not everyone will be pleased with what they uncover.